Green future for Joburg

HOTSPOT: The Isabelo Smart Bench can be found in The Grove in Braamfontein.
Photo: HOTSPOT: The Isabelo Smart Bench can be found in The Grove in Braamfontein.

It is the new year and a number of companies want to hear Joburgers’ solutions to the environmental problems facing the world – so they’ve wasted no time in launching the second season of The Green City Start-up competition.

South Africa is currently affected by a number of environmental issues including soaring temperatures as a result of global warming and the depletion of essential resources including coal and water.

The Green City Start-up 2016 is calling on start-up companies, SMEs, and partnerships to submit their ideas in order to improve the City of Joburg and create a lasting solution to environmental issues.

Interested companies can enter with a solution to an issue faced in any sector including energy, waste, water, transport and building.

Adjudicated by an award panel, applicants with the finest ideas will receive R250 000 to develop their idea further.

Mentorship will be offered by Resolution Circle, an integrated training, research and development ecosystem which designs innovative, commercial and technology-focused solutions, the University of Johannesburg’s technology commercialisation company and the incubation hub where the ideas can become tangible prototypes.

Ultimately, the winner could receive up to R1 million to turn their idea into reality and improve conditions in the city.

Last year, one of the finalists of the competition was none other than the Isabelo Smart Bench, a smart wi-fi enabled bench which provides free wi-fi in public spaces in African cities, which is now a successful idea that has been implemented in popular areas around Johannesburg, including Braamfontein.

“What we love about it is that people can sit down, charge up and freely access information and share ideas online,” said Louise Meek, the entrepreneur and founding director of Public Access Consulting, the company which created and developed the bench.

The City of Joburg is adamant to make the city as green as possible and your great idea could contribute towards the city’s vision.


Racine Edwardes

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